Kansas State University researchers, with the help of a USDA grant, will study risk management strategies to help reduce the health and economic effects of bovine respiratory disease complex in commercial feeder cattle.
Principle investigator David Renter, director of the new Center for Outcomes Research and Education in the university's College of Veterinary Medicine, has received a $489,466 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant for the project from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
According to Renter, BRD complex is the most common cause of sickness and death in U.S. feeder cattle, and costs the the U.S. beef industry an estimated $4 billion per year.
"Our long-term goal is to reduce the health and economic impacts of bovine respiratory disease complex by utilizing scientific and industry knowledge to improve disease management," Renter said.
Renter said to reach that goal, they will be combining real data from beef herds while concurrently developing the most scientific health and risk management strategies.
Data will reflect different types of industry management settings. The scientific results and approaches to management will be directly relevant to reducing the impacts of bovine respiratory disease complex in the U.S. beef industry.
"Our research goal is to develop strategies that differentiate bovine respiratory disease complex risks among diverse feeder cattle populations and identify sustainable approaches to reducing the disease in these animal populations," he said. "We will achieve this goal through three interrelated research objectives. We also will collaborate with cattle producers and veterinarians to generate more detailed information on how feeder calves were managed prior to feedlot purchase by studying groups of feeder cattle in different segments of the beef industry."
Renter said that collectively, the research approaches, combined with industry partnerships, will enable his research team to develop risk management strategies that lead to immediate and sustainable reduction of the effects of bovine respiratory disease complex in the U.S. beef industry.